Mama's Little Bears

Mama's Little Bears

by Nancy Tafuri
     
 

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One afternoon, Mama is teaching her three Little Bears how to fish. In a forest full of surprises, the cubs are too curious to stay in one place for very long! Every rock and tree offers a new, exciting discovery. Yet no matter where they wander, they are never too far from their Mama's watchful eye. Nancy Tafuri's trademark watercolor style creates a playful,

Overview

One afternoon, Mama is teaching her three Little Bears how to fish. In a forest full of surprises, the cubs are too curious to stay in one place for very long! Every rock and tree offers a new, exciting discovery. Yet no matter where they wander, they are never too far from their Mama's watchful eye. Nancy Tafuri's trademark watercolor style creates a playful, gentle world for this minimally-worded story of early independence and loving reassurance.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Tafuri's (I Love You, Little One) skilled watercolor-and-pastel drawings feature a trio of toddler bears who run off from their mother to explore the wide world. At each turn of the page, the brief text directs readers' attention to the innocent wonders the cubs discover: "What's under here?" three green lizards hiding under a rock. "What's down there?" a gray mouse family peering up from a hollow log. Unfortunately, the preschool lesson on prepositions grows needlessly complicated at the climax of the story. "What's up there?" the text asks as the bears stand at the base of a tree. To find the answer, young readers must turn the book sideways and right-side-up several times. Finally, when the owl at the top of the tree startles the inquisitive cubs, they shout for their "Mama!," who provides a gently reassuring, four-bear hug. Tafuri's illustrations are cheery even the fish being eaten by one of the cubs seems to be smiling and the statue-like owl seems to puzzle the bears more than frighten them. Like real-life toddlers, the cubs exult in their independence, but careful readers will notice Mama Bear watching over them the whole time. Ages 1-6. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Starting with the endpapers, we follow the progress of cinnamon brown Mama and her three curious cubs as they fish, explore and climb on their own. A sinister-looking owl at the top of a tree surprises the cubs, who now want nothing so much as their "Mama!" Of course, she's there with reassuring hugs for all. The bears start off again as the sun begins to set and disappear into the back endpapers. Where have they gone? Be sure to look at the back cover. Tafuri, author and illustrator of so many notable books for the youngest readers (including her Caldecott Honor Book, Have You Seen My Duckling?), has produced a charming blend of appealing animals, a chance for pre-schoolers to practice place words like in, under, over, down, and up, and an ending with a happy sense of security and order. The oversized type makes it easy for beginning readers to participate in reading the tale, which is presented in an attractive, almost-square format and warm, soft colors of the natural world. 2002, Scholastic, $15.95. Ages 18 mo. to 5. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
PreS-Three curious bear cubs are fishing with their mother one spring day when they decide to venture off by themselves. Along the way they encounter a variety of other forest creatures and ask questions such as, "What's in there?" or "What's down here?" They scamper up a tree ("What's up there?") only to find a nest of owls that startle them. They quickly head back down the tree to look for their mother. Of course, she has been close by all along. The borderless, two-page watercolor illustrations are typical Tafuri, with soft colors and attention to detail. The text is simple and large, with few words per spread. Children will enjoy finding the mother bear in each illustration. It's unfortunate that the animals the cubs encounter aren't identified for adults sharing the story with children. This title is similar in content and story to Ann Jonas's Two Bear Cubs (Greenwillow, 1982), but misses the mark of that storytime classic because several animals are too small to be seen in a group setting. In addition, the text lacks the smooth flow of Jonas's title. A nice book for sharing one-on-one, this is an additional purchase.- Shauna Yusko, King County Library System, Bellevue, WA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Three curious bear cubs hurry around investigating their surroundings until they realize they miss their Mama and run to receive her welcoming hugs. Splashing in a stream trying to catch some fish is fun for a while, but soon Little Bears want to find out "What's over there?" They lift a slab of rock exposing some lizards and answer the question of "What's under there?" Their inquisitive nature steers them toward a cave and then to a fallen log to discover what is hiding inside things. Finally, up a tree they climb to find out "What's up there?" Surprising a nest full of owls perched high in a tree is a bit more than Little Bears, expected and they scurry down to find their Mama waiting close by. Eagerly, they all climb in her arms, happy to feel some security after their adventure. Colorful illustrations rendered in watercolors and pastels take center stage in this playful tale of the adventurous trio. Text, printed in a large, bold font with few words on each page makes this an excellent selection for new readers. As playful as a romp in the woods. (Picture book. 2-5)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439273121
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/01/2002

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